Ch17_Outline

Ch17_Outline - 1 Chapter 17 Groundwater Importance of...

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Unformatted text preview: 1 Chapter 17 Groundwater Importance of groundwater Groundwater is water found in the pores of soil and sediment, plus narrow fractures in bedrock Groundwater is the largest reservoir of fresh water that is readily available to humans Importance of groundwater Geological role of groundwater As an erosional agent, dissolving groundwater produces Sinkholes Caverns Groundwater serves as an equalizer of streamflow 2 Fresh water of the hydrosphere Table 17.1 Distribution of groundwater Belt of soil moisture water held by molecular attraction on soil particles in the near-surface zone Zone of saturation Formation Water not held as soil moisture percolates downward Distribution of groundwater Zone of saturation Formation Water reaches a zone where all of the open spaces in sediment and rock are completely filled with water Water within the pores is called groundwater Water table the upper limit of the zone of saturation 3 Distribution of groundwater Capillary fringe Extends upward from the water table Groundwater is held by surface tension in tiny passages between grains of soil or sediment Distribution of groundwater Zone of aeration Area above the water table Includes the capillary fringe and the belt of soil moisture Water cannot be pumped by wells Distribution of groundwater Figure 17.2 4 The water table The water table is the upper limit of the zone of saturation Variations in the water table Depth is highly variable Varies seasonably and from year to year Shape is usually a subdued replica of the surface topography The water table Variations in the water table Factors that contribute to the irregular surface of the water table Water tends to pile up beneath high areas Variations in rainfall Variations in permeability from place to place The water table Interaction between groundwater and streams Constitutes a basic link in the hydrologic...
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Ch17_Outline - 1 Chapter 17 Groundwater Importance of...

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